Customising chemotherapy

30 April 2009

Cancer researchers in the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Sydney received over $630,000 in research project grant awards at the Cancer Research Awards held this week. Research into human pharmacogenetics indicates that naturally-occurring variations in certain human genes influence drug efficacy and toxicity. In the body drug transporters control the delivery of drugs to target cells. Defective transporter genes therefore prevent drug uptake into cells, which leads to poor therapeutic outcomes. In addition, individuals who possess highly active drug biotransformation enzymes rapidly clear drugs; those who possess defective genes may experience toxicity. Together these factors significantly affect how individuals respond to standard doses of drugs so research in the Faculty is focussing on individualised treatment for cancer patients.

Professor of Pharmacogenomics, Michael Murray, secured funding to improve certain cancer treatment therapies by tailoring them to the genetic makeup of individuals. Professor Murray's research is currently evaluating the biotransformation and transport of important tyrosine kinase inhibitors that are used to treat leukaemia and renal cancer. Dr Mary Bebawy was also awarded for her research into the role of drug transporters and drug resistance in cancer which will focus on microparticle-mediated transfer of P-glycoprotein in conferring multidrug resistance in cancer.

Contact: Holly Bax-Norman

Phone: 02 9351 2311

Email: 5f370601010d133831173f62252614106d5d202f433731